The 2019 Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) annual meeting was marked with discussions and workshop on important rules and regulations impacting farmers across the Commonwealth. Those topics included hemp, labor and more.

“Attendees today learned how changes to recent rules and regulations could impact them and their businesses, which is important to ensure they stay in compliance,” said MFBF President Mark Amato. “One new feature of this year’s annual meeting was a meet the candidates forum, during which those individuals campaigning for a leadership position within our organization could speak about their platforms and answer questions. Hopefully, this will make our delegates better informed when they cast their ballots tomorrow.”  

Additional topics of today’s workshops included bee health, tick management and grants available to assist farmers. Members left the day’s sessions with a refreshed perspective on issues facing Massachusetts agriculture.   Mid-afternoon Cape and Islands Hampden County Farm Bureaus hosted their “Taste of the County” event, during which attendees sampled the delicious food and drink that the counties had to offer.   In addition, awards were presented throughout the day noting American National agents’ accomplishments, county Farm Bureaus’ gains in membership and more. Most notably, the following awards were presented today:  

  • County of the Year: Essex County Farm Bureau
  • American National Agent of the Year: Sean Rooney
  • Rising Star Farm Family Agent: Luis Correa
  • Greg Finn Scholarship Winner: William Pratt, who is studying Mechanical Engineering at UMass Amherst
  • John Ogonowski Award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture: Ed Lawton, who farms in Foxborough

The 2020 Horse Farm of Distinction award was also presented to the 32 following farms:  

Berkshire County *Undermountain Farm, Lenox  

Bristol County *Blackhorse Farm, Swansea *Bristol County Agricultural High School, Dighton *Chipaway Stables, Inc., Acushnet *Johnson and Wales Equestrian Center, Rehoboth *The Big Red Barn, N. Attleboro *Ventura Stables, Berkley  

Cape & Islands *Forget-Me-Not Farm, Harwich *Holly Hill Farm, Marstons Mills  

Essex County *Back Bay Farm, Inc., Ipswich *High Tail Acres, LLC, Newbury *Hunters Haven Farm, Groveland *Indian Rock Stables, Saugus *Lalobarun Ranch, Newbury *Pine Tree Equestrian Center, Beverly *Sons of the Wind, LLC, Merrimac *The Barnyard Maples, Byfield *Windrush Farm Therapeutic Equitation, Inc., N. Andover  

Hampden County *Silvercryst Farm, Southwick  

Hampshire County *Greene Acres Equestrian Center, LLC, Belchertown Middlesex County *Berryfield LLC, Lincoln *Harmony Horse Stables LLC, Littleton *Lovelane Special Needs Horseback Riding Program, Lincoln *Sterling Riding Stables, Pepperell *The Ponderaia, North Reading *Wildstar Farm LLC, Sherborn  

Norfolk County *Yankee Stable, Edwin S. Little, Sharon  

Plymouth County *Briggs Stable, LLP, Hanover *Creek Crossing Farm, Hingham *Lazy Stallion Friesians, W. Bridgewater *Whit Acres Farm, Norwell  

Worcester County *Holly Hill West Inc., Harvard